Mike O’Brien to Retire From Monterey Mushrooms After 48 Years in the Produce and Grocery Industry
WATSONVILLE, CA - The illustrious Mike O’Brien has announced his retirement after 48 years in the produce industry. O’Brien will be transitioning out of his position as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Monterey Mushrooms, where he has spent the last six years.
“It’s all about people,” O’Brien said. “No matter what your job: retail, grower-shipper, or volunteer. Be humble and show respect for others. Life is short and we all want to accomplish a lot. But none of us accomplish much without the help and support of others.”
O'Brien joined the mushroom grower in 2014 after a 42-year career with Schnuck Markets, Inc., in St. Louis, Missouri, where he started as a bagger and moved up from Clerk to Store Manager and into senior leadership before holding the position of Vice President of Produce and Floral for 14 years.
While with Monterey Mushrooms, O’Brien developed a reputation for excellence in sales, marketing, and consumer trends. Under his tenure, the company became one of the largest mushroom grower-shippers in North America.
Among his other career highlights, O’Brien counts receiving the Donald O. Schnuck Award for Customer Service when he was at Schnucks. At Monterey Mushrooms, he noted the highlight has been learning a new industry and working with great people, especially CEO Shah Kazemi who O’Brien said is an inspirational leader.
“Mike is an authentic, strong, committed, and compassionate leader who powerfully takes stands on the people and projects with which he is engaged,” Kazemi said. “It’s been a joy to have him be part of our executive team and he will be greatly missed.”
It is with great enthusiasm that Monterey Mushrooms named Brian Jenny as O’Brien’s successor. While they are big shoes to fill, the company is excited for the experience he will bring to the new role.
"Brian’s unique skills and insight will enhance our efforts to accelerate Monterey Mushrooms' growth," Kazemi said. "We know he will be an outstanding addition to our team."
Holding an MBA from St Louis University, O'Brien was Chairman of the Produce for Better Health Foundation in 2007 and Chairman of the Produce Marketing Association in 2011.
O’Brien announced his retirement to spend more time with his wife, Theresa, and their three grandchildren. His plans for retirement include volunteering in the produce industry, playing guitar, attending live music events, travel, charity work, and spending time with his family.
We at AndNowUKnow wish Mike O’Brien the best in his endeavors and congratulate Brian Jenny on his new position!